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tv   C-SPAN Weekend  CSPAN  December 20, 2009 2:00am-6:00am EST

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conclude that >> i think that point in you can conclude that [unintelligible] the standard of this court has generally been applied in deference to supreme court decisions. >> i would hope that that bears on the standard. does that not mean that the court has to, in interpreting a legislative act, give special deference to the legislature? insofar as the presidential election is concerned, i would think that is accountable, and especially in light also of the concern [unintelligible] >> i think that if the florida supreme court is interpreting florida law, i think the court needs to take into account the legislature does have this
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[unintelligible] . [unintelligible] i think when the florida supreme court does that, within the judicial interpretation that is a subject for florida's supreme court. >> there was no special burden to show some deference to legislative [unintelligible] of selection of presidential electors, there is a big red flag up there. >> justice o'connor joining the
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conversation shortly after justice kennedy. may i start with beckstrom, when justice kennedy said can we begin with jurisdiction first? the reason being, he had to real target sitting on the bench in front of him, kennedy and o'connor. he knew going in that this was pretty much a 5-4 court because the court had also taken the unusual step of issuing a stay on the accounting procedures in florida. that was done on saturday. arguments were on monday. the issuance of this day suggested there werer>iñzímá ar five boats stacked against mr. boysen and vice president gore. he was going to persuade anyone, he had to focus his attention on kennedy and o'connor. if justice kennedy said can we start here? there was only one response, and that wasñi yes, justice, let's
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start there at and discuss that. what essentially happened is that the five boats that ultimately decided this case, though i would prefer not to say decided the election, that was the carry over from what the four numbers resulted in, ultimately it came down to justice kennedy, justice o'connor, can and then the three much more conservative members of the court, chief justice rehnquist, justice scalia, and justice thomas issuing an unsigned opinion for the court. the author ship later became evident that it was kennqy's. it was only because kennedy and o'connor were comfortable with the equal protection aspects, that is, is every boat being counted like every other boatñi- is every vote counted like every
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other vote. those of us who scrambled out in front of the court afterwards thought it was a 7-2 vote. did come down to a real question on how the ballots were being counted. there was a very short exchange between ted olson representing mr. bush and justice souter. ñiñr>> we submit debt incorrecty interpreted [unintelligible] is completely impossible to have the issue resolved and the controversy resulted time for the federal statutory deadline.
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we submit that the process has changed. >> if your concern with this -- if you had latigo we might have found exactly how it would have come out, but that was not the intent of mr. olson and governor bush at that particular time. many justices will say that oral arguments don't change their opinions, but that they help them close the gaps and narrowed some of the inconsistencies. i am not sure, but in hindsight, looking at this and listening to the arguments again just the other night, you see justice kennedy in particular trying to wrestle his way to a conclusion that works for him. it was not the more seemingly it to chronicle -- the more seemingly draconian approach it,
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but the weight to find that the equal protection was not being afforded every voter here, that was a comfort zone for him. >> it is an honor for me to be here as well, it was a great, fun projects to work on this book about oral arguments. it is an intense and fascinating process, and i am struck how intense it is by the fact of where we are right now. we are sitting in a replica of the supreme court at the georgetown university law center, where the dimensions are exactly as they are in the court with the lectern the same distance from the justices as in real life. it is incredibly close, and i cannot imagine it is just a really nerve wracking experience for the lawyers. i always feel for them, and i am surprised more of them have not faded, as has happened in history. the case i picked to write about
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in a way is a lot less known than the others you just heard about. in a way it is the flip side of the coin from dahlia's case. in this case, there is a rookie lawyer who had never argue before the supreme court. he ended up making a spectacularly unsuccessful argument. he was totally passionate about the facts and the background of the case, but it just fell flat and was too passionate. makes another point about the supreme court. many cases, when they get to the supreme court, are at a much more abstract level than at the lower court levels. in the trial court, the issue is the facts. did the police officer do this or not? but when you get to the supreme
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court, the facts often fade into the background, and the court is really just concerned about a legal and constitutional issue. that is what this lawyer forgot. just briefly to summarize, it is a first amendment case. the first amendment protect freedom of speech, but it also has been found to protect the right not to speak are the right not to have the government force you to say something you do not agree with. in this case, it was a group of california fruit farmers, producers of vegetables and fruit in california, who every time they sell a bushel of corn or something, they have to pay a fee into a federally backed marketing program. that marketing program then pays
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for commercials on television to advertise the fruit in generic ways, much like the milk commercials you see our beef -- or beef. this group of fruit farmers did not like the ads that were being produced on their behalf for this marketing program. the ads were featuring varieties of fruit they did not grow. they did not -- they did not like some of that subliminal sexual images in the ads about the luscious this of fruit. they decided to make the first amendment challenge to this program. a lawyer from fresno had been their lawyer for years and was challenging this program every step of the way. he knew everything there was to know about this marketing program. as the case got to the supreme
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court, he wanted to hang on to the case, like many lawyers do. some of his clients felt that this -- we are getting away from the facts, we need a really good first amendment lawyer. they hired michael mcconnell, who later on went on to be a distinguished federal judge. ñiweñi had two groups of farmer, one sticking with thomas campion and the other going with the new lawyer. the above file briefs in the case, and the supreme court did not know what to do. they had two lawyers and only a half-hour for them to argue. actually flipped a coin to resolve this unresolvable fight between these two lawyers, and thomas campaign one. he argued the case, and almost
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from the outset, you could see that the first amendment issue of forced speech was of no interest to him. he wanted to relitigate this program about fruit, and he started to argue about stipulation 43 and exhibit 297, as if he was back in the trial court. there is one clip we have of how unsuccessful that gambit was. [unintelligible]
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>> the 1954 act as not to leo -- does not deal with that subject whatsoever. [unintelligible] >> stipulation #59. >> if you want to make a point, make it so we can all understand it.
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[unintelligible] >> you can see that he was so wrapped up in the details, chief justice rehnquist became very annoyed and told him to stop it, and he kept telling back to stipulation bit 7. unfortunately, it just kept going in that way. he never really took on the person in the argument that was very crucial to the case. he again got so impassioned about the frouduit that his clit group, that it became a real
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embarrassment. we can go to the third clip where he was arguing that his clients grow green plums, and the ad really should have been about green plums. people think that green plums or underwrite and will have bad effects on people. >> if you are thinking to yourself, you did not want to give your wife diarrhea. >> i have never seen green plums. >> he was directing it to justice scalia. he was saying why should you tell me i should not buy green plums for my wife, i have never seen a greenbaum? he was not trying for humor, but it just completely fell flat.
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in the end, he lost the case 5- 4, and a lot of people think @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ ú@ @ @ @ @ @ @ better than a run-of-the-mill lawyer that it became the basis of a malpractice suit. the suit did not succeed.
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there was a settlement, but it seemed to symbolize that sometimes it really does matter to have a good supreme court advocate on your side. >> at this point, i will ask questions of our esteemed panel and we will talk a little bit more about oral arguments. all-star. dahlia. you concluded that an outsider could prevail over a polished insider because of their passion. he said he violated the order not to use sound effects. he calls the courtroom to erupt into laughter. what is the interplay between presentation of ideas and being colorful as opposed to the ideas
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themselves? when you think about what is going to lead your success as an advocate before the court, how do you make a trade-off between those two different objectives? >> i think that for every story i tell, there are tend that tony can tell. anyone going into the supreme court for the first time would be ill-advised to do any of the things that michael did. one of the things that was so interesting to me, we were really all dying watching his performance, yet it became clear that he was doing something slightly magical there. in thinking of an oral argument this year where carter philips was talking about expletives and a change in the policy about whether one were paris hilton
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and were going to swear briefly, whether one could be fined for that. carter phillips really is one of the harlem globetrotters, astonishing. he does not ever do a lot of flash. he is meticulously good on the argument peaciece and not one to draw attention to himself. everyone was whispering that he was going to actually say one of these expletives, because he had done it at the court of appeals. the judges were swearing and he was wearing and everyone was swearing. going into oral arguments, the scuttlebutt was that he was just going to go in there and because like a sailor at the supreme court, and at the last minute, he did not. i think it was an interesting choice to essentially say we are not going to be transgressive
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here. this particular court would not have thought it added. they would have thought it massively detracted. he made a very smart choice to argue the case and not do the bells and whistles that might work at the court of appeals. the object lesson is, it really was an allied air. i don't think the one would take away from this particular case that you should go in representing your daughter, get emotional, insult the chief justice and make everyone laughed. he pulled it off because of some perfect storm of what he was and what the case was in that moment. i really do think the lesson i took from the case is, don't be too smart. alboin and be safe and argued the case you would are -- the way you would argue in court.
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>> as you were describing the casey case, and catherine colbert's argument, it sounded like she was really confrontational. she was combative and really sticking to her guns. despite all your efforts to get me to deviate from these arguments, i am going to stick to my guns here. in contrast, charles' description of bush vs. gore and his quotes from ted olson suggests that if the justices suggest they want to go in a direction, you are going to follow them in that direction. is your case the anomaly here, or how can we best understand? >> eeo catherine colbert, you know that she is stubborn. she was and remains very committed to work cause -- to
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her cause. he keep in mind that this was as much a political adventure as a jurisprudential enterprise, catherine knew what was on the line. it was a high risk. she was really rolling for a major loss if she either offended kennedy or o'connor. she clearly needed both of them, and from the exurbs that we played for the audience, it is clear that both of them came into the argument skeptical of her go for broke approach. i don't think -- you could probably say it was an aberration in the sense that not many causes are that emotional. dahlia's is another case that is, but most of the time when you go into an oral argument, the issue is not quite as close
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as it was in this case. most of the cases are not bound to be 5-4. that is still an exception. more cases are decided by 7-2 or 6-3. when you know going into a case is likely to be 5-4, the risk is exponential. catherine understood that as a political activity, she could not do anything else. she was lucky in this sense. no matter which way the argument went, or the outcome when, they had a political issue, because if the supreme court struck down roe, then you could make the argument that we have got to get a president who cares about reproductive rights. while it was high risk in the sense that catherine colbert may well have lost the outcome, it was not a political risk,
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because either way, they were going to have the kind of political argument that they fashioned going in. >> that part of casey is sort of unusual. i think there were two goals being pursued by the attorneys. are there other instances where the lawyers who are arguing the case have to go beyond the litigation that is being liberated? >> most of the time when the case gets to the supreme court, it is rare, because the court did something like 8000 petitions a year and they decide 75. i think most lawyers understand that what they are doing is not simply getting a resolution of a fight between party a and party be. another case that occurs to me was the 2005 decision in which the court validated taking away a woman's home in new london, connecticut, so they could build a big new economic developmentñi
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to support a pharmaceutical giant. in that case, it was very clear that both sides went into the argument not only hoping to win this litigation between these parties, but to establish a larger principle. in that sense, i would say that supreme court arguments, given how few there are any more, given the limited scope of what the court is willing to hear, almost every case has a secondary impulse that the lawyers are going to pursue. it is not often quite as blatant as it was in casey. >> charles, let me ask you about televising supreme court proceedings. you mentioned is that in bush vs. gore, one of the interesting things was that as soon as the case was over, you had the audio recordings being made available to the public. there is a great deal of public interest in that case. what would you say then about
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why or the justice is reluctant to have their proceedings televised? along those lines, what kind of impact would it have on the justices in oral arguments and the attorneys who are presenting their advocacy? >> this is a case i have argued before the supreme court. the feeling has been that the court, up until now, has been very reluctant. it has complete authority to admit cameras if it chose to, but justice souter famously has said ago over my dead body." that will not be an issue much longer. his experience on that relates to the new hampshire state supreme court, which did have cameras, and he felt that he
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pulled his punches in questioning because of those cameras there, that he might not have been perhaps as confrontational, or he was just as a dent in some dimension in formulating his questions. -- just as hesitant in some dimension in formulating his questions. surly chief justice rehnquist was sympathetic to justice souter's position and said that so much as one member is opposed to cameras, there will not be any cameras. chief justice roberts is not that absolute about it, but is not particularly in favor of it. then you have others who say it would just cut me up into six second sound bites and lose all the context of the argument. we do that in quotations and in
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graphics and headlines. if you have the completeness of it, perhaps that particular justice might not grumble as much. i personally think c-span would be an ideal place to do it. at least that is my argument. . .
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>> he sure that that would be a product of putting their faces were regularly on television -- regularly on television. myçó>>xdç that works if you are in colombia putting drug dealers behind bars. x$(>> it is an argument that hs been persuasive with his colleagues. i am not sure that i am persuaded, myself. as a matter of fact,xdç my own sense is that if there is a constitutional right of public access to publicçfjç proceedin, you cannot say that that right ofxlç access depends upon what u will do with the information that you give them. there should be a constitutional right of access to sit in on court proceedings.
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my sense is that that includes"a recording device and to reproduce the argument elsewhere. w3>>bçíç justxd to add one more. that the justices like to be able toñr -- they do not want cameras because they can still say no. there are not many other institutions that have that choice anymore. çw3i think that the momentum e qzvh%lzinteréet, congress is geg impatient, the direction is in 3ç7'nñymñwmo court and eventually they will have to say yes. inç fact, justice souter unwittingly gave support to this momentum inñ7 his victory speech that heç gave not very r from here were he said that the public knowledge about the
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structure of government is abysmal and we have toç improve civic education for this new generation. xdçwhat better way than to lean @@@@@@@ ok@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ m@ @ one of the things that has been driving me insane is that the only times that the public gets
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access to audio are in the opposite of that case. the court, by some a trick that is not known to humankind, they decide toc'ków3çç buyç args z;[idea of treatment. cases, affirmative action cases and cases that make cases, affirmative action cases ç -- and make the justices bacd out. if you are only one to doxd thi, i'll allow audio representative of what 90 percent of the court'sçv: docket is. it is not all that sensational. i think that this currentç policy only on casesçzy[ç whes guaranteed to sayokç somethingt is a good sound bitew72 orç tht justice souter is guaranteed to say somethingç that makes peope
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think the court is an ideological body, this causes absolutely the opposite. >>ç to ask you a question about your kids? >> justice scalia once remarked thatpu infrequently, a lawyer who has done a terrible job in çbrief and an oral argument wis the case and he is going back to his client and saying that we did it for you again. he then continuedç saying that there is no mark for quality. itçç is whofá has the better . given the flawed argumentsç, couldn't the justices just sweep by his faulty argumentsç which sort of leads to the broader question of whatç role do oral arguments play in supreme court decision making? >> that is a never ending debate. ççiç think the general axioms that you could lose the case. ent.
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there was a report on a case where the oral argument may have lost. they may have slipped one vote. overall, i think the point is that there have been many instances when there have been hundreds of where there has been poor oral argumentíkw7ñrçkwo point. oral argument does matter. >> i was once told that it made a difference about half the time. you can go into the oral argument, having discussed it with clerks and listened to the argument. about half the time, he second-
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guess himself and did not go the other way entirely. he at least is willing to reconsider going into the argument. i am discussing my own chapter. the purpose of oral argument is the justices are going to have. i do notç?yç know of the public knows this, but they cast their first vote very quickly afterwards. the cases that orçz( heard on a .whdp6odíoy cast theirçó votes on wednesday cast theirçó votes on wednesday afternoon. so, the court is going to put on record for itself an initial impression of where they're going to go on this. it may not be a very substantive discussion, but it
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leads to añr vote and that usually dictates who gets assigned the task of writing the majorityç and if there are dissents. in thatç sense, if lawyers are able to shape that initial conversation and the good ones á]u11e are, maybe the bedouins are as well. i think that is whyxd the court have been many years cases, -- the core disposes of some cases, they will do it -- court disposes of some cases, they will do so without oral argument. the court is capable of doing away with oral argument if it wants to. enough of the justices think it
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is valuable. what i would just add took that. a number of justicesç such as íiuzççw3oj[okwmn two numerous times -- tw3w3ççç numerous times the court affirmed a lower court's 7-2. 'yfá-nd%qqwoñrçh' court has been affirmed or reversed. the case is not about this. it is about the substantive law. ÷myxd mñ.
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. mdok it would not go as far as they thought it would. so, the point is, and from my own research, oral argument can have ançó affect on the legal outcome of the case, not necessarily the vote that is produced by the justices. >> i]let me add something about the value of foreign argument. in the present operationç of te supreme court, seven of the nine justices used a pool of clerks. eachç case that the court is consideringç is examined by one clerk for 7 chambers. what that means is that the group ofñr sevenç is going to e
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the clerk's memo that recommends hearing the case or not you're nothe case during the case. what it does is remove the judges even further from an intimacy with with the case -- with the case. they have already -- but did not talk about it that much. that contributes to the sense that this is an interesting case that we are encountering for the first time. that a good quarrel might be what the justices are looking w3they certainly choose the cass based on the facts. they are more engaged when they ydqçknowçççç who is argui.
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gore is the dialogue is nothing short of justice thomas. t(çççeven in my own case, asa reporter covering it, then had an interesting and effective attorney arguing it. >> i think it is worth adding that different justices argue world argument in different ways. ok
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we have been talking about the new book edited by ken johnson and barry goldman. it was putç out by the universy of michigan press. i want to)p'k our panelists for coming. çthis has been a fun exchange. leslie, there are no good corals
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on this bench. of the thing georgetown university law center for hosting our discussion. and what to think he for coming in watching today. thank you. >> you can watch this program againç or other reason america and the courts programs at c- span.org. just clicki] on america and the courts under the seat pan -- the c-span series links. çóxdçç>> up next, a discussioe future of the u.s. auto industry. after that,xd a house hearing on security leaks at the oktransportation safety administration and then a senate poisoning. >> house of commons leaders are
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question time. questions focus on climate change, the economy and the controversy that arose after a u.k. court administered an arrest warrant. prime minister's questions, sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> there is just about a month leftç to enter sees them's 2010 studentcam contest. the top prize is $5,000. it just creates a five-eight minute videoç on one of our country's greatest strengths or a 111uz the country is facing. injured before midnight january 20. winning entries will be shown on c-span. do not another minute. >> now, a discussion on the future of the u.s. auto industry
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from today's washington joining us now at the c-span table caller: this is a project that's been in the work about 15 months now and we have 15 reporters. in an attempt to tell the story. it's a story most facted. we wanted to go back and show how those changesñr affect people's lives and really dig deep into some of the stories
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as the year goes by. there was a meeting in pittsburghuq the race against time for the u.s. auto makers that you are able to make this pivot as quickly as possible. >> he's provided more bridges than i think he dreamed he would ever have to going back to thatñr visit. about six months after that visit they had gone through a wanchingrupsi and come out on the other side. they are existing, which is far
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better than what the alternative was going to be. the only alternative given their financial state by the end of 2008 was to go into a bankruptcy that would have cost bankruptcy that would have cost hundreds of >> it would have cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. and not justç the suppliers. >> you had a chance to meet with president obama earlier this month. what were his thoughts? how did they change into thousand eight and now to president obama in december 2009? >> çasç president, he has beer more involved in the industry than heok ever imagined he would be. i think that it is not evolution that he wantsç to keep it for very short amount of time. i]heç would love to be out of e auto industry by the time he leaves office. çhe thinks that they can build cars and trucks that people want. t(çthat would make them fully
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competitive in the market. it willç take several years for that tow3 develop. gm is in a much better position. ças far as we can tell, they're pretty competitive. there are a lot of changes going on from top to bottom. he is the washington correspondent. the number -- we have a special line this morning for auto industry workers. we want to hear from the folks in the auto industry.
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particularly, -- not particularly this person, but you speakç about colin mcdonald and why was it important to include her story? >> area. as we have seen, she feels thef brunt of the down turn starting last year and is pressured by chrysler to boost their sales. they target both of her franchises for closure. she gets the news that she is going to shutdown in a matter of days. the next day, she gets a letter from chrysler that they will take the dealership as well. >> it's unusual that dealers would have dealers from both sides. it's an activity that has gone
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on before. a bill attached to the spending allowed dealers to go back to the companies and petition for the binding arbitration over how the companies chose which dealer to close. >> our first call comes from river falls, wisconsin. paul on the line for republicans. a retired auto industry worker. >> you know right now, there are more auto industry jobs than previously. down south, there are a lot of plants all over. during the negotiations with the union. they did great. the thing is when they take a vote for a strike, the company
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would say we'll give them what we want now and worry about it later. now is later. they should have went back and sat down with the company and said, 0 ok. we know to help save this auto industry, we have to give a little back to the auto companies and proceed later on with negotiations to make it better for the union worker. the unions are being stubborn. it's hurting detroit. i don't know what they are going to do. ford is doing good. they did a buy out of a lot of the plants and paid off the workers.
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general motors, chrysler did the same thing. thanks a lot, c-span. guest: thank you, sir. it's been very interesting what happened it doesn't matter what happens now between now and 2013. the other major concession was that for retirees perhaps such as yourself. the healthcare trust owns majority of chrysler.
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host: we'll go to florida. caller: if you'd like to lift tone you tube. obama conspiracy. host: a little distracted there. tell us more about the point she was trying to make. guest: the government has put about $ 0 billion into the auto industry. right now, the last estimate from the government is that
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they probably won't get back $30 billion of that that they put in. the obama administration has admitted that. their goal is to get out as soon as possible. the same time getting the government's handout. there is a lot of political pressure around the government owning a government stake in gm. it opens the door to political interfeerns. they want to close that door as soon as possible. >> is there anything that they could do to save the auto industry before it boughted out in 2008 it
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guest: it was really the credit crisis in 2008 that pushed things off a cliff. they have been able to push their wrecking days further into the future by barrowing against future earnings. they had to dole with that debt load. the only way to do that was bankruptcy. host: the[ow next call out of north carolina. caller: the l.a. auto show was here last week. there was some interestingñi things there.
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they had a turbine car there i wonder if you could talk about this. guest: sure. turbines are sort of this jumped over technology. chrysler built a couple of them. it turned out they were expensive and a little loud and that you could get some of theñ same benefits with working out gas motors. they wouldn't power a wheel. they would power the depen rator that would power the wholes.
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is the auto industry still looking at these cars? >> it is a serious effort. every auto maker in the world has some kind of electric car work going on. it's not just regulations. last year, there was a gas price spike that fasketted the ebb tire country. finally, if the technology was in reach, you had to reach out for it. in addition, regulations regarding global warning and carbon intensity a)getting stronger around the world as well. moving electric cars forward. host: next up from indiana.
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caller: next up, with this electric car thing. i think they are toing to tell people they cannot take vacations anymore unless you can stop every 50 miles and plug it in. just a lookout the window. this global warming stuff is a scam. the deporner there has the highest obama rate and he is advicing her. guest: as far as global warming. it's for real as far as scientists can tell. there are going be election rick cars. the ones outright now are more
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expensive and the ranges are some what limited. the marketñi for them is going be cities, people that don't necesarily drive that much but still need a vehicle to get around. because cities are growing, the potential is growing as well. >> gas prices are not that competitive. if gas goes back up to $4 a gallon, which everyone hope it's doesn't. that said, you will always be able to find that long trip in in the united states for decades to come. >> our story talks about the
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obama administration fasketting the industry. she was apparently daily emailing. michigan does have the highest unemployment rate. >> we are talking with justin of the detroit free press. he has been with the free press for how long? >> since november 2005. host: how long in washington? guest: november 2003. host: the next call from
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michigan. caller: i think the auto industry has been dissolving since ronald reagan was in office. i went through four plant closes since then. it's getting worse and worse here. guest: what kind of work were you doing this. >>ç i used to be a supervisor. we were suppliers to the big three and all of these jobs since they would to mexico, the latest plant closings that we have were all here.
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inqç mexico, they stayed open. i think nafta was the beginning of the end. ?;i]flexçok danielsçç expgse like a lot of people. in the past, the turmoil wasç t nearly as great. there's simplyç have notçóç bn jobs going back to michigan. he does have a point about trade and that nafta. a lot of those jobs have been going to foreign companies is a trend that may continue. we had a discussion about manufacturing earlier this week and trade and currency of our to onçç retractable issues tì+ have to be dealtw3ç witç beforu canxdi] get started talkingçó at çadding jobs back to the united states. the u.s. has fewer people working in manufacturing been it
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did in world war two. >> if you want to read it in its entirety, you can find itç online. ççscott is on line for democr. you touched on a couple of subjects. one is the disparity between healthcare systems in japan. their auto industry doesn't seem to be suffering like ours. they have a national healthcare system running about 7% of gdp there. i believe for a family of four, the premium is $280 a month. the other question, why can't we get the high mileage cars like they have in europe?
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we mentioned the electric kr. caller: you do have a point on healthcare. you are right. other nations it's been a. manufacturing has gone to other nations healthcare is a place for start up industries. it's one of those issues that play as role. insofar as the healthcare
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debate, it hat not been an overarching roll. something of an expirement. the opportunity seems to be the health against gas prices as more people live in the cities and don't have to drive as much as a typical american does today.ñi gm to close down saab. is that going to have significant nasket from this
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rise? >> at this point, no. saab has been winding down the operations. it will affect sweden. this was a deal gm troyed to put together. the buyer fell through. a similar thing happened with sat urn. that deal fell through as well. it gos to the weakness in the auto industry. this is far more capacity to build cars. >> last call comes from finger lakes new york on our line for republicans. how are you caller: you got any snow?
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>> take a look behind me. caller: my question is why do we thinkford was so much better positioned than chrysler or general motors second would be what would have occurred had gm and croiceler just gone chapter 11 as opposed to today. i'll take your answers off line. thank you. guest: first off,ford tackled a lot of this overhaul well before the credit crisis.
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ford used to act like four or five different companies. he managed to stitch those units together and make them[
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mark pryor chairs the committee on consumer convention. >> work hard to protect them. senator klobuchar has introduced s1216. the safety act. today we'll consider her legislation and i commend her for her excellent efforts in this area and look forward to this afternoon's discussion and want the audience to know we're here because she requested this
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hearing as part of her leadership on this issue. we're joined by an expert panel of witnesses who have agreed to testify before us. they will share with us their insight regarding carbon monoxide poisoning prevention. i welcome them and thank them for their presence and contributions today. witnesses will present the remarks on one panel and they are already set up. each of you will have five minutes to deliver your oral statement. then we will have an opportunity to ask questions and follow-up on your opening statements. your written statements will also be included in the record. if you want to abbreviate your testimony, that's up to you. carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because it's elusive, we can neither see it nor taste it or smell it. each year approximately 500 people die. there's 4,000 hospitalizations that occur as a result of it.
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about 20,000 emergency department visits from this every year. i look forward to learning more about this issue and i look forward to the witness's testimony. but first, senator klobuchar. >> thank you very much, senator pryor and thank you for your leadership for this committee. you have always been there in the front line. remember when we had the pool safety bill and there was a family, that tragically lost a little girl. senator pryor was there and got the bill done. i'm hopeful the same thing will be done with the legislation i've introduced. i first wanted to recognize cheryl bird. i was thinking of asking to have the hearing, quite a day to do it. most people might have thought we would be out of session. i had hope we would still be here and glad it worked out for everyone. when i think about what motivates me to get this thing done and keep moving with the legislation, it would be someone
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like cheryl. from rochester, minnesota, home of the mayo clinic and being a leader advocate for carbon mox r monoxide awareness, lost two of her sons 14 years ago. she's here to share her important story and help educate us on the importance of carbon monoxide alarms in the home. i want to thank her for coming along with the other witnesses. in my state of minnesota and across large sections of this country, winter temperatures arrived a few weeks ago. and they'll likely stick around for a while. that means our home furnaces and fireplaces and chimneys will be getting a good workout over the next several months. with that comes a danger, the potential for accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, known as the silent killer, carbon mondoxide is a odorless gas produced by
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propane, that is gas and gasoline, can leak from family furnaces or from stoves. they can be trapped inside by blocked trimny or a flue, running a car engine in a garage or operating a gas powered generator in a confined place. when inhaled. it is quickly absorbed into the blood and becomes deadly when it replaces the blood's oxygen. early symptoms of this kind of poisoning are sometimes confused with the flu, headache, nausea, fatigue and dizziness. another 150,000 people ends up in the emergency room, 150,000 a year. children are especially vulnerable. according to the centers for disease control, 92 minnesota ans died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning between 2000 and 2006.
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this need not happen of the one of the simplest and most effective defenses is the installation of a carbon monday oox identify detector from the home. the american red cross and mayo clinic and american lung association recommend the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in the home. in minnesota this isn't just good advice, it's the law. since 2008 all homes in our state are required to have working carbon monoxide alarms, naturally it's estimate that's fewer than 30% of homes actually have them. we're here today to think about ways to get more families to install carbon monoxide detectors in their homes and also here to talk about legislation that i've introduced along with bill nelson who would require the u.s. consumer products safety commission to enforce stronger standards to protect against the dangers of carbon monoxide.
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it's called the residential prevention act. includes three key provisions, first to tren sthen the safety standards, currently they set volunteer safety standards which are underwritten by underwriter laboratories and the legislation makes these mandatory for carbon monoxide alarms sold in the united states. this is especially important in my state. some tend to fail in low humidity areas like minnesota's cold dry winters. seconds this legislation would require the consumer products safety commission to determine whether portable generators sold in the u.s. can be equipped with safety mechanic in additions å
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the books that promote the use of detectors in apartment buildings and new homes. when someone dies from accidental poisoning, it's a public tragedy too because we know that so often we could have prevented these deaths from the right safeguards. when i was a prosecutor, i was always frustrated by the time a case got to the office the damage had already been done and the crime had already been committed. i knew that the best way to
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protect public safety was to prevent the crime in first place. on this committee, we're in the position to protect families and prevent unnecessary accidents from ever happening at all. that's what we want to do with this carbon monoxide legislation. we are here today to sound the alarm on a silent killer, that is carbon monoxide poisoning. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses. >> thank you, what i'm going to do is briefly introduce all four witnesses on the panel and then let you give your testimony. i would love to keep it to five minutes if at all possible. first, we have alan horn, the executive director and general council for safe kids usa and cheryl burt of rochester, minnesota. is it john andress? the director of engineering kid resdown shal and commercial division.
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then we have kelvin cochran, u.s. fire administrator of homeland security. i want to welcome all of you all to the subcommittee today. thank you for your time. i know it's late in december and you probably have a lot of other things you could be doing today. thank you very much for your preparation and for those of you who travelled. we appreciate you very much. you want to lead off? [ inaudible ] >> am i on? one that in our view that gets very little attention. we very much appreciate the opportunity to increase this today. the subcommittee knows very well that safe kids usa spends every waking moment working to protect children from the number one killer, unintentional injury. this subcommittee and quite frankly senator pryor and
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senator klobuchar have been helpful in that effort throughout the years. we know children and children's safety are in good hands with these two members of congress. that help continues here today. the vast majority of americans don't realize the number one killer of children is injury, not cancer or obesity or violence or abduction. it's car crashes, drownings and yes, poisoning like carbon monoxide. so as far as i know, this is the first time congress ever had a dedicated full hearing to poisoning and we think it's about time. thank you senator klobuchar and pryor. i have a portion in my testimony where i talk about how it happens and what the results are and senator klobuchar, i think you addressed that in your testimony. i'll do it by way of making two analogies. one, this is not like smoke. smoke at least arguably, you can see in the home. you can taste it. you can smell it. there's at least ant opportunity for you to react to it and get out of the home.
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by the way i'm not making a case for not having smoke alarms, they are very, very important. carbon monoxide you cannot see or smell. that makes detection all the more important. and i'm reminded of a story along with the burt story of a family of four who died in maryland. they found the father dead in his bathroom on the floor with shaving cream on his face. that's how quickly it happened to him. two children died and the mother and senators, they found the dog dead on the mat. there was no opportunity to detect that this was happening because there was no carbon monoxide detector in the home. i'd be remiss if i didn't talk briefly about a couple of prevention opportunities here and how we think they should be prevented. we'll talk about this piece of legislation. number one and the most important thing the two most important things, if you have a soft of come bustible fuel in
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the home, you better have a carbon monoxide detector in your home. i have it outside the sleeping area and in the living areas. they are not expensive. this is a safety device not used enough. not like smoke alarm in the vast majority of homes. these are still highly underutilized. your legislation senator will help get these into homes. i'll talk about that in a second. the second is to prevent it from happening in the first place, that is the co enter the home. per the manufacturer's instructions, quite frankly, something i should do better, every year getting gas appliances checked. a couple of other things then i'll talk briefly about your legislation, never ever use your gas ranges or ovens to heat your home. that happens and that's a source of carbon monoxide. don't leave your cars running near the home or in an attached garage. you talked about portable generators.
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it seems far too many people use generators inside the home, an opportunity for co to build up in the home and that's when the deaths and injuries happen to the tune of 500 a year across the entire injury risk area. the residential carbon monoxide prevention act if pass will help us greatly in these prevention efforts. we very much appreciate your leadership on this. the bill does much but i'll talk about two things. if passed, it would establish an incentive program as you said to encourage states to pass co law that's require approved alarms be installed in commercial dwellings and construction, new construction. congress has used incentive grants many times before. we think the philosophy is a sound one for booster seats, pool safety legislation, which both of you were supportive of. this is consistent with that philosophy. i will make one change to the bill. right now it applies to just
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rental properties and commercial properties. existing older homes are just as important, in fact more important. they have the older gas appliances, i think you'll hear from the burts on that matter particularly and they have at built to be faulty and fall in disrepair. for the existing homes also like we do for pools and like we do for booster seats, we don't require booster seats in new cars, it's all cars. we would like you to consider that change. then there's a second concept here which is your mandatory standard. i'm running out of time. quite supportive of that, why we think a voluntary standard serves a more vibrant prevention aspect than a mandatory standard. i will say, i'm not worried about these carbon monoxide detectors, this is a pretty good company with a very good reputation. a mandatory standard helps us police the marketplace a little better just in case we don't have the good reputation out
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there. one final point, when parents rely on this to serve a safety purpose, we believe it better serve that safety purpose. it's nice to have a mandatory standard in place to make sure that it meets that goal so that we who have these up in our homes, they behave and react the way they are supposed to. rewe rely on it too greatly. >> thank you. >> good afternoon. my name is cheryl burt and i'm from rochester, minnesota, thank you chairman pryor and members of the committee forgiving me the opportunity to talk about carbon monoxide poisoning and i'd like to thank senator klobuchar for allowing me to tell my story, to take the issue of co awareness to a national level. when you have a fire in your home, you know it. you can see the smoke and smell
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the fumes and feel the heat. and since smoke alarms have been required for years, chances are you will hear the smoke alarm sound. when you have carbon monoxide in the home, you cannot see it or taste it or smell it. you will feel its effects, a headache, nausea, dizziness but you don't realized you're being poisoned. you don't comprehend the danger, if you do you're completely helpless to take action to save yourself or your family. i know, 14 years ago, this january, carbon monoxide poisoned my family and killed two of my three children. let me start by saying that i lived by life safety rules. i had smoke alarms in my home. i used safety gates, child and i thought my home was safe. and i was wrong. on this particular evening i
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progressively got sicker and sicker which what i thought was a family case-sized case of the flu. i had taken my son to the doctor with different symptoms and i knew something was wrong, but everyone, including the doctors, thought i was overreacting. i now know by the time we reached the doctors, my sons had received enough fresh air that the c.o. was causing them to be sick and had dissipated. back then, i never thought that we were being poisoned. by the time i realized something was terribly wrong i didn't have any idea just how terribly wrong it really was. i didn't realize that my babies were dying just rooms away from me. i couldn't help them or even help myself. a carbon monoxide alarm would have saved my children's lives. but i didn't have one in my home and that night, my two youngest
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children died in their sleep from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a malfunctioning furnace. the rest of my family, while we were severely injured we managed to survive this horrible experience, only to wake up the next afternoon in the hospital with our lives tragically changed forever. i was asked to give testimony today to give reasons why i support s-1216 which would give states that passed c.o. alarm laws incentives to raise awareness and would require a mandatory standard for all c.o. alarms in the u.s. i can give you three very good, very precious reasons for my support. nicholas todd burt, zachary todd burt and ryan todd burt. excuse me. my little nick turned 4 years old eight days before he died. in fact, we had been too sick to
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have his birthday party. i now know our illness was really the beginning of carbon monoxide poisoning. but at that time we had decided to wait to celebrate once we all got better and that day never came. he's my reason number one. reason number two is zack. zack was just shy of 16 months old when he died. i had woken up with zack many, many times during that horrible night. looking back, i should have realized that something was very, very wrong in my home. but i was too sick. i was too poisoned to know. instead, it was zack who i could not pick up to rock back to sleep. it was zack who had trouble breathing and the carbon monoxide just made me too weak to lift him up or to soothe him. instead, i hung onto his crib rails. i was trying to keep myself standing, trying to keep from
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passing out and i prayed he would just go back to sleep. i wanted to go to bed myself. i listened to his labored breathing and i was unable to comprehend the danger that my baby was in. i was unable to realize that he was dying. and now i listen to zack's labored breathing every night in my sleep. i would give anything to have that night back, to have been able to think clearly and save my baby. reason number three is ryan. ryan was 5 and a half when we were poisoned. he barely survived. he's lived the past 14 years with the knowledge that while he lived, his two brothers died right next to him and that weighs on a 19-year-old's mind. believe me. what haunts me is that i could have prevented their deaths. as a mother, i felt i should have prevented it.
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i knew a little about carbon monoxide poisoning. i knew about alarms. but i didn't realize their life-saving value. in fact, just a few weeks before this incident happened, i was shopping for the holidays like we are now with a friend and we aaú
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flu, h1n1, proper seat belt aaú usage, other dangers. but there is no national awareness about c.o. poisoning and i won't rest until every family has a c.o. alarm in their home. this bill would help provide funding about raising awareness of the need for those alarms. thank you. this december 28th would have been nick's 18th birthday. he would be graduating from high school. zack would be 15, probably just getting his driver's permit and i often think of how different my life would be today if i had a c.o. alarm in my home. i wish my state would have had a law in 1996 like the one we have now requiring all homes to have a c.o. alarm. i know without a doubt that i would have had one in my home.
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had there been more public education at that time i would have bought that alarm that day instead of that toy truck and i would not be speaking before you today. there would be no need. instead of extreme sadness during this holiday time of year, i would be home baking, enjoying the holiday season and probably stressing about what to get my three active children for christmas. i couldn't save my sons but you have an opportunity to save someone else's family. i urge you to consider the safety of the citizens of your state and help protect them by supporting s-1216. again, thanks for allowing me to speak before you and thanks for all you do to protect the citizens of the united states. >> well, thank you very much, cheryl. we're just glad you're here i. can't imagine -- i don't think any of us can -- what you went through and having the memories of that night, but you have the courage to share them with us to
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make sure it doesn't happen to other children, so thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you for being here, your courage and dedication. mr. andreis? >> good afternoon. i'm the director of engineering for kiter residential and commercial in leaven worth, california. thank you, members of the committee for the opportunity to contribute to the discussion on the prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning in the united states. kiter residential & commercial is part of u.t.c. fire and security, a subsidiary of united technologies corporation. we are a proud leader in carbon monoxide alarms an other safety devices. we are committed to leading the industry in product safety and strict compliance to standards. kidde supports enactment s-1216. the centers for disease control and prevention reports each year
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unintentional c.o. poisoning kills more than 400 americans, requires 20,000 more to seek emergency medical attention and causes more than 4,000 hospitalizatio hospitalizations. this is a strong first step toward preventing the tragedies. i commend the senators for their continued leadership in alleviating this critical public health and safety issue. s-1216 would focus much needed federal attention and resources toward ending accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. the bill's provisions to create a grant program are especially important but today my comments will focus on dreebing the carbon monoxide hazard and how alarms provide warning, and on explaining why it is necessary for mandatory federal product safety standards as laid out in s-1216. known as the silent killer
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carbon monoxide is a by product of incomplete combustion. potential sources are gas burning appliances such as gas, furnace, water heater or grill as well as other fuel-burpi inf devices like fireplaces and engines. if they are improperly installed or malfunction carbon monoxide can build up quickly inside a home. it mixes with the air and can quickly reach dangerous levels. because one cannot see, taste or smell carbon monoxide the only safe way to detect the gas is to install working carbon monoxide alarms. kidde fire and safety experts like the fire protection agency recommend placing c.o. alarms outside each bedroom and on every level of an occupied dwelling. when inhaled carbon monoxide bonds with the blood's hemoglobin to form carboxyhemoglobin. an alarm measures concentrations over time to be sure an alarm
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sounds before a person's blood level reaches 10% carboxyhemoglobin. a normally healthy adult won't experience symptoms below this level. consumers must have properly maintained alarms to warn them about the presence of dangerous c.o. levels and avoid nuisance alarms. this need for accuracy and reliability is the cornerstone of underwriters laboratory standard 2034. the u.l. 2034 is an american national standards institute or a.n.s.i. standard that requires input from medical experts, approval bodies, government agencies like the cpsc, the national fire protection association, users and manufacturers in order to create a robust standard of performance. first published in 1992, ul-2034 has gone through several revisions, each based on years of field test data intended to
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progressively strengthen the standard. kidde supports the standard because it tests the design for electrical safety, mechanical robustness and the accuracy of c.o. production over time and in different environmental conditions. u.l. 2034 is continually reviewed by a standards nick call panel to keep pace with technology advances and past lessons learned. this process has lead to the creation of c.o.-sensing technology that's more advanced, stable and reliable than past generations. to date, 23 states have enacted laws requiring alarms in residential dwellings and while most mandate the alarm as meet ul-2034 there is no uniform requirement. more states will likely adopt similar regulation. in order to avoid confusion state lawmakers need a consistent standard to define what constitutes an approved
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alarm. without such a reference conflicting regulations arise, the counter one of the cpsc's main objectives which is to develop uniform safety standards for consumer products and to minimize conflicting state and local regulations. again, i thank committee members for their consideration of s s-1216 and raising awareness about c.o. dangers. we look forward to working with you to pass this important legislation. thank you again for the opportunity to contribute to the discussion. i'd be glad to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you. mr. cochrane? >> mr. chairman, senators, other members of the committee, again, i'm calvin cochrane, associate administrator for the federal emergency management industry, united states fire administrator of the department of homeland
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security. i appreciate the opportunity to participate today in this discussion. since this is my first hearing following my confirmation, it's a great opportunity to participate in this important issue. i look forward to working with you on many other life, safety and fire prevention initiatives over the next three years. each year carbon monoxide poisoning kills or sickens thousands of americans. this colorless, odorless gas adheres to red blood cells faster than oxygen which interrupts the exchange of oxygen. consequently, the loss of oxygen leads to tissue damage and in some cases, death. from 1999 to 2004, approximately 450 americans died from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning. on an annual basis, approximately 20,000 people
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visit emergency rooms and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to carbon monoxide poisoning. approximately 73% of those exposures occur in homes. 41% occurred during the winter months between december and february. carbon monoxide poisoning is most fatal for citizens above the age of 65. common causes or sources of carbon monoxide poisoning include house fires, faulty furnaces, heaters, wood-burning stoves, internal combustion vehicle exhaust, electrical generators, propane fuelled equipment such as portable stoves and gasoline powers too such as lawnmowers. the fire and emergency services of the united states of america have been aware of this silent killer for many, many years and have been trained on how to
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respond to and to mitigate suspected cases of carbon monoxide poisoning. municipal fire departments across the country respond to an estimated 60,000 nonfire carbon monoxide incidents on an annual basis. individuals and families can take proactive steps to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning by installing home carbon monoxide detectors. carbon monoxide detectors provide a crucial early warning of elevated levels of carbon monoxide. the united states fire administration believes citizens will be best prepared for an emergency in their homes if they install both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors during this critical period of the year. we have produced fact sheets and other information in conjunction with the department of housing
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and urban development and the national institute of standards and technology entitled smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for manufactured homes. this fact sheet and other materials referenced here today can be accessed on the united states fire administration's website at www.usfa.dhs.gov. americans can also do more to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. homeowners should regularly check and vent their homes' heating systems, regularly clean their chimneys and never leave vehicles running in a closed garage. these are other simple steps that can assure that carbon monoxide levels do not rise to dangerous levels within our homes. in recent years, the emergency management community has experienced -- or expressed concerns regarding post disaster deaths from carbon monoxide
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poisoning. data has shown that on average 170 people die every year as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning associated with portable gas generators. such post disaster deaths are also caused by charcoal grills used inside homes or in closed garages during power outages. research from the center for hyperbaric medicine in seattle washington shows the number of carbon monoxide poisoning deaths in emergency rooms spiked two to three days following power outages as survivors begin to recover. the united states fire administration has developed many brochures with guidance on the proper use of generators following disasters so survivors operating these machines can do so safely. the federal emergency management agency's director has said to
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look at how we can better prepare and respond to power outages in order to educate survivors and prevent these tragedies from occurring. finally, the united states fire administration will be working closely with the centers for disease control and prevention to distribute multi language brochures and develop public service announcements to better prepare citizens prior to disasters. we're also highlighting carbon monoxide poisoning in our monthly public education series for january 2010. the focus will be alternative heating sources which focuses on the dangers of carbon monoxide. i appreciate the opportunity to present before you today and look forward to working with you on this and other critical life safety and fire prevention initiatives. >> thank you, mr. cochran. i want to thank the panel for
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testimony today. it's helpful to the subcommittee. mr. korn, let me start with you. you have a stack of carbon monoxide@@@@@@@@@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @
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government saying this needs to be done. as to the consumer product safety commission maybe it's time they address this issue the same way they do fireworks or the same way they do toy safety where there is one time a year every year -- maybe the start of home heating season, where they do the same type of education in partnership with safe kids and other groups about the importance of detectors in the home. addressing it the same they do as other kwlars. final -- areas. finally, there is nothing more motivating for me than hearing stories. any time a parent shares a story about a child dying and their experiences, that's one of the best -- and let me say this. i deal a lot with parents who lose children. in my view it is the most
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selfless act for a parent like cheryl to share their story. there may be 15 minutes in a day where she doesn't think about her two children, but when she volunteers herself to express and educate others she's allowing all of us to intrude on that 15 minutes including this hearing. i think that's a special and selfless of gift. as long as parents are willing to tell their stories that's the best motivator. i have a 9-year-old and it's an unthinkable thought to lose a child. i'm going home tonight and checking my smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors because of this story. >> i agree. thank you very much. mr. andres, let me ask you a question about kidde and what, in your view and the company's view, what makes for a good carbon monoxide alarm and what
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makes one better than others? >> let's start with what makes a good alarm. what you really want with an alarm is selectivity to carbon monoxide gas only. you don't want an alarm that's going to react or sense other gases that are commonly found in a home and you don't want that to be viewed by the alarm as carbon monoxide. so selectivity just to carbon monoxide is an important attribute. al also, long-term stability. if we think of the alarm and the technology, we're trying to detect parts per million of a molecule that cannot be seen, smelled or tasted. so long-term accuracy of technology so that over time it's just as good on day one as it is in year seven. it's an important attribute. those are two aspects i would look for in a carbon monoxide alarm. to help support that, there is a standard out there.
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ul-2034 which looks at these attributes in addition to a bunch more to make certain that those products that carry the ul mark meet these requirements. >> thank you for mentioning ul-2034. in your opening statement you mentioned that it gets updated from time to time. is the current status of ul-2034 current with the technology today and basically -- i mean, is it ready to be followed for a long time or does it need some improvement as well? >> yeah, it has -- i mean, since it was first published in 1992 it's gone through a number of revisions. a lot of those made good sense. revisions, for example, to incorporate tests to reduce nuisance alarms. proving long-term reliability and stability. basically any problems that the
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standards technical panel came across of which cpsc is a member of. those were addressed and the standard modified to ensure that future designs didn't have similar issues. so progressively getting better and better with time. it's a good standard at this point. >> so you think the standard, as it exists today is right where it needs to be? >> yes, i do. >> senator? >> well, thank you very much. i was looking at these and remembering that i go home by myself a lot on weekends. i came in once and i think there was something wrong with mine. it was going off all the time and i unplugged it. maybe i will buy one of these from you. i can't take it or we have a public violation of the ethics laws. very good. well, i want to thank all of you and just to follow up on a few of senator pryor's questions about the standard and how it's improved, is it difficult for
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manufacturers to meet the standard? why do you think it's important to have a mandatory one instead of a voluntary one? >> well, to answer the question, it is difficult to meet the standard. i mean the ul standard incorporates over 50 different performance tes. it takes time. it's not inexpensive, but at the end of the day, what we end up with as an industry is a product that's been designed to comply with the performance standard. if e with just think ability about it we think about putting products in the marketplace exposing ourselves in the entire category to consumers not having a belief in the way they would work or should work. we don't want to do that. we have an opportunity now with s-1216 to prevent that from happening, reduce the risk, build consumer confidence and maintain the reputation of carbon monoxide alarms in total. >> did the smoke alarms have a
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similar mandatory standard that this bill would ask for for carbon monoxide? >> smoke alarms, there is a ul standard for smoke alarms. it's ul-217. i don't believe it's mandatory, but i believe most states require smoke alarms be listed to the ul-217 standard. little bit different. you know, smoke alarms have been around for quite some time. if you look at the history of smoke alarms, there were actually businesses that had put smoke alarms into the marketplace without a ul mark. those businesses aren't around anymore. i think what we have here is the opportunity to prevent that from recurring. >> how much does one of these typically cost, a carbon monoxide alarm? >> i'd say the range is from $18 to $40 depending upon the feature set. >> do you just plug it in? >> yeah. they're -- well, you see some of the examples that mr. korn has.
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some are simple -- >> oh, that's who i can buy it from. >> installing batteries like in a remote control. others, just directly plug it into a wall outlet. that's how simple it is. >> mr. korn, we talked about the fact that it's 23 states including minnesota have laws on the books requiring carbon monoxide alarms in the home. can you talk about the effectiveness of these state laws? is there evidence of them reducing the carbon monoxide or the number of times they have effectively warned people of this silent killer? >> 23 states have the laws but frankly there is a patchwork of requirements. some require, like minnesota, rhode island, a few others, very good carbon monoxide law that covers all dwellings. others, i believe it's maine. i'm doing it off the top of my head, but i have the information. just hotels.
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some just require a carbon monoxide alarm only when there is a transfer of a home during a sale or otherwise changing hands. in our view, a more comprehensive law is important. i think the laws of chemistry exist the same in a rental unit with a combustible source of fuel as they do in a home that's been around for 30 years. carbon monoxide isn't any less poisonous just because it is in an existing home or in a new home or just because it is in a rental property. so we would hope your incentive grant and the state legislatures would pick up on what i think is a fairly new risk area. people don't know about it and pass laws to require them in the homes. i will just mention casually that a arkansas does not have a carbon monoxide detection law. maybe we can move toward that end. >> you know, ms. burt's tragic story really brought home the fact that kids are more
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vulnerable than adults even. adults obviously are as well. can you talk about that -- the body weight and the reasons children are more vulnerable? >> there are three or four reasons. one, children are smaller. so a toxin getting into their bodies affects them negatively faster than it does for an adult, although rest assured, at high enough levels it will affect even a large adult also. second, children don't have the ability to react like a parent would or an adult would. it is at least possible that an adult would recognize that something is wrong and maybe -- maybe make a connection to carbon monoxide. a child won't. a child will fall asleep or go unconscious and that's the end of it. i think children are particularly vulnerable as a population requiring that early detection just as much as -- if
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not more than others. i think seniors also are the same case. in fact many carbon monoxide deaths and poisonings happen to seniors because they don't react as a healthy adult would. >> mr. cochran, you noted the number of emergency room admissions spike around two to three days after a power outage meaning people are using portable gas generators, charcoal grills inside homes after a hurricane or a storm. what's the best way, if you could use your expertise here, to prevent the injury and death associated with these generators? >> well, assuring that proper venting is taking place in homes and when garages are used to store heat from appliances and
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making sure venting is appropriate in those areas as well. just monitoring. having a c.o. detector available so that even if the venting is not adequate enough that the carbon monoxide detector will sound to alarm to let them know dangerous levels are present. >> i noticed you talked about how many of these -- okay, this may be a selfish question, but everyone should know the answer. some state laws differ. what is recommended -- i think our law in minnesota says the alarm should be installed within ten feet of every bedroom and then some just say every floor. i would assume it is recommended there be one on every floor? >> one on every floor is pretty consistent. beyond that it boils down to different standards or family preferences. one on every floor is a consistent standard we stand by. >> okay. ms. burt, i know that you have spent a lot of time reaching out
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to families about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. have you seen a change in knowledge with the state laws passing in the 15 years since the tragedy? >> i have actually. when i first started doing this and i was telling my story or just telling friends and family or people i meet, a lot of people were just like, carbon monoxide, boy, you know, i don't really know anything about that or along those lines. as the years went on the more people i would talk to, they would be like, oh, yeah, yeah, we know all about that. my mom and dad got us one for christmas. they knew a lot more. it's been over the years, it's prevalent that people know about it, but even after hearing my story they still don't actually go out and purchase one and put it in and use it.
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and that's the part that gets me is that, you know, it's great to know about it, but not everybody's taking the steps needed to protect themselves. that's the part where this can come in handy. >> another part of the story that was so upsetting as a mother is you kept going back to the doctors, trying to figure out why you were all sick at the same time. has there been some increase in that kind of training or education for doctors, emts, firefighters, emergency room workers, people that would be asking the right questions to identify how this happened? >> there has been, i know at the m mayo clinic i have talked with a panel of people on it >> i don't know that all  doctors would think carbon monoxide poisoning at this point when someone would
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present the way we were. certainly more public awareness on that would get this more promoted. i would like to see doctors think faster when someone is coming in and they are saying shows a cook. i would want more knowledge out there so that that is foremost in their thought. >> you want to add to that at all? >> yes, mam, i can speak to preparedness for firefighters. especially those that are those that are well aware to focus on signs and symptom that's may be presented by patient yepts that could result in carbon monday oox i'd
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poisoning. in addition to that, this time of year, municipal fire departments and vol untier againsts that have the resources, vol untier to increase the awareness potential for carbon monoxide poisoning this time of year.e there are departments currently entering into campaigns across the nation where carbon monoxide detectors are being purchased and donated by faith-based groups and businesses and delivered to fire departments who actually receive calls from citizens for requests for carbon monoxide detectors and the firefighters themselves install the carbon monoxide detectors in the homes of citizens. that is a historical trend that's been occurring for 10 to 15 years and it's gaining momentum in communities all across the country.
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>> okay. thank you. i guess my last question, ms. burt, is i would assume you would suggest people put a carbon monoxide alarm in their stockings this holiday season and that this would be a good gift for people to give their family members. >> you are absolutely correct. >> all right. thank you very much. thank you for your courage in being here. thanks to all of you. it was very informative. >> thank you all for being here. i have some written questions that we may submit. i think that senator klobuchar and i get it. we're going to try to do something about this as quickly as we can. i didn't mention this before, ms. burt, but i had a circumstance in my house a few years ago. it didn't end in tragedy like yours did, but it could have. i was just out of law school and i had two roommates and we lived in an older house, as mr. korn
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said can be a problem. one of my roommates, his bedroom was just a few feet down the hall from a bathroom and it had a hot water heater in the bathroom and the carbon monoxide was just leaking out of that hot water heater. we had no idea. you know, it had come with the house. we didn't think to check it, but sure enough he's getting flu-like symptoms, headaches and the whole thing. he figured it out. i'm not sure how, but he knew something was wrong. he figured it out and we replaced the water heater and installed it properly with the right venting and everything. this can sneak up on you without anybody knowing. it was a near miss in our case. we need to do more in terms of law, but also to bring awareness to this. i really thank you all for being here. we're working with all of you trying to get something passed next year. we're out of time this year, as
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amy knows, to get anything -- >> oh, there's still another week left. >> so realistically we won't get it done in the next week. thank you for being
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winning funding among other things.
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next, he sp >> since i didn't get a chance to do this on the floor this morning. i want to make this statement right from the podium here and then i'll try to answer the questions. when i answer questions, it's not going to be about management questions it's think i think are important. -- worked on. let me say at the helm said that changes never easy. -- at the outset that change is never easy. i intend to vote for cloture and vote for health care reform. on the floor of the senate, in town hall meetings throughout our states and in one on one meetings, we have all heard
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heart wrenching stories of people who have been left behind, were forced into bankruptcy or caught in the grip of a health care system that just did not work as well as it should have. while each of my colleagues may differ on how to fix the system, i know of no members that would suggest that we don't need to change our health-care system. where we differ, and i say so with great respect to all of my colleagues is in the way, we fix our system. i believe in the free marketplace and that it is the free -- foundation and should drive our debate. that is why i opposed to the public option yet supported the bill.
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this will lower costs and provide better health care for the american people. i'd like to touch on the issue of abortion. as you know, i have strongly held views on the subject and i fought hard to prevent tax dollars to subsidize abortions. that is 30 years of federal law. i believe we have accomplished that goal. i have also fought hard to protect the right of states to regulate the kind of insurance that is offered and to provide health insurance options in every state that did not provide coverage for abortion. -- that do not provide coverage for abortion. i know that this is hard for some of my colleagues two except. i would not have voted for this bill and i would not vote for this bill without those provisions. -- some of my colleagues to accept.
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perhaps the most remarkable of all has been the leadership of majority leader senator reid. to craft this landmark legislation and to shepherd it through the legislative process and to deal with everything associated with this legislation and acquire the necessary votes to end a filibuster is an accomplishment of historic proportions. i believe the legislation will stand the test of time and will be noted as the major reform of the 21st century. much like civil-rights legislation was a milestone of the 20th century. the lives of millions of americans will be improved. lyons will be saved and our
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health care system -- lives will be saved in the health-care system will be better. i would like to talk to something that will likely fall on deaf ears. the debate has been passionate and it has been good for the country in many ways. the american people have voiced their opinion. that is good. that is part of our democracy. what has been disheartening about this debate are the bread cools and ludicrous claims that have been hurled at one another from -- are the reckless and ludicrous claims that have been hurled at one another from each party. supporters would not be standing here today if, for a moment, they thought this legislation would cause harm to the american people. if you turn to the news and read some of the statements and listen to others coming from
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both sides of the debate, you would think otherwise. the quality of this debate has not always measured up to the quality of the american people. there is still much work to be done before this legislation becomes a reality. i look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make it an even better bill. without, in any way, attempting to be threatening, to be more in the mode of promising, let me be clear. this cloture vote is based on the full understanding that there will be a limited conference between the senate and house. if there are material changes in that conference report different from this bill that adversely affect the agreement, i reserve the right to vote against the next cloture vote.
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let me repeat that. i reserve the right to vote against the next cloture vote if there are material changes in the conference report. and i will vote against it if that is the case i know that it is the case. i know that it is hard for some of my colleagues, but it is clear that i would not have voted for this bill without these provisions. >> how are the other concerns some up? >>-- sewn up? >> what is in it for me is what is in it for the people of nebraska. i did not believe that the expansion or the body and on medicare was inappropriate way
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because that was more of a public plan by the then letting the -- rather than letting the public market work. let me refer to a few things. i was concerned about the flexible spending account gap, but that will be dealt with. i was worried about both the >> i believe that is being addressed. these are all issues that fasket not only my state but every other state but because of my experience and knowledge of it both as a senator and a former governor, i requested changes i believe will be made and announced.
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i was concerned about medicaid i think there needs to be further work done on the so call mandate in the world ever insurance to create open and closed enrollment periods rather than financial penalties to get people into the system to avoid the problem. the obvious problem you get if everybody is not in the insurance package. you have eliminated restrictions on preexisting conditions. the concern about medical malpractice, i believe, we are going to work on a study to look to see what works in medical malpractice tort reform i should say based on certain
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states to find out more information on it. there are a lot of thoughts about how this should work but not necessarily any data that would tell us what is the appropriate way to handle it. medicaid, -- certain states.id, -- certain >> on medicaid [unintelligible] but i will leave it up to the leader to comment on that. i will leave it up to him. i am comparable that it is taken care of in the best way that a kendeigh -- i am comfortable that it is taking care of in the best way that it can be -- taken
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care of in the best way that it can be. >> whathis bill has been movingg every step of the way and changing. now, we need to see how people respond to the managers package and the modifications. there is opposition to the public plans because that is what i heard in my town hall meetings. that is what i see. there are people opposed to doing anything. you are not going to change their minds by doing something. that is something that has to do -- be dealt with.
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the plan of the third together, we have an agreement on. it makes certain that the plans do not use federal dollars to fundñr abortionsñrñi. they may have some different opinions about the package. i do not think the well is poisoned. there have been efforts to poison it, but people will take a close look at what the plan is today. from my perspective, i think that is what will happen. >> there are a number of changes to the abortion provision. >> the fact that the requirement is that -- first of all, there are 12 states that ban abortions
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in public lands and five that banned in both public and private plans. we want to make sure in this legislation that there is no pre-emption for the right of states to choose those bands if they choose to do so. -- a bbans if they choose to do so. we were concerned that if it was not addressed, it must be the intent to appeal. each exchange will have toñi hae at least one plan that does not offer abortion, that does not require the exchanges to offer plans with abortion, but if they do, then the premium is calculated as follows. let's say that my subsidy is 50% of the premium. that is the underlying premium
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for the basic benefits, not including abortion. the second 50% of that coverage, i would write a separate transaction for the portion of abortion coverage and the premium for that. >> so you have to specifically choose? >> yes, you get your choice between a plan that doesn't have that and a plan that has it. it is not about writerriders. >> is it your understanding that states can ban private insurers even if some of their customers do not give federal subsidies? >> they can do it right now. it does not change. the current situation is the same. >> kendeigh purchasers sending a
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single check and the insurance company keep the check or do people -- [inaudible] >> it makes it clear. the insurers will account for accounting winds. -- for its accounting winse. >>if they have an exchange, they have to provide it least one plan that does not provide abortion. that way, you avoid the of doubt. >> what does congressman's tupac think? >> -- congressman stupac think?
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>> mrs different. -- this is different. the clause will be included. there will be up to $250 million over 10 years 14 pregnancies and people who want to continue their pregnancy and to move away from putting people in a position where they believe they have to have an abortion to continue their lives. economically, this would help with that. in addition, the adoption credit has been increased and it has been made as a refundable tax credit so that lower income people -- adoption is getting more and more expensive. not like when i adopted. this means that lower income
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people would have the opportunity for adoption as well. when we put this package together, this is the package we ought to have to deal with this. >> over the last weeks and months, there were a lot of things in this bill that you lobbied and assisted come out -- and insisted come out. now that you have gotten an agreement, do you think that this bill fulfills what the leadership wants? >> i think it is good enough for us to move forward. if i referred, i would've done with it incrementally. -- if i prefer, i would have been dealt with it incrementally. that is what i have attempted to do, both constructively and
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productively to improve this legislation to a point where i can supported with a caveat. we will see what happens with a very limited conference because we do not want any postal subsidies -- substantive or material changes. >> to that provision, [inaudible] >> i do not know. i told the leader about my concerns and made it clear where i am and he understood it. i am sure that he will find a way to make that happen. >> could you possibly use some of the more liberal senators from the actual bill itself? >> now that i am aware of.
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-- not that i am aware of. no one has walked away from the bill. i do not know about a final vote tally. >> did you tell us about the conversations that you have had? >> -- can you tell us about the conversations that you have had? >> what i have done is i have outlined to them what this bill is. i am not seeking approval. i am just informing them what it is and how we have gone about doing thait. it is not only the best way, it is more than good enough. but they are looking at it.
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there is a point in time where you have to move forward. you always keep your mind open. i believe that this handles the whole question of london abortion -- banning the funding of abortion both directly or indirectly. >> there was a round of applause at the beginning. what was said? >> it might have been one i walked out the door. [laughter] what i think it was for the leader when he came in. i cannot emphasize enough -- >> i think it was for the leader when he came in. i cannot emphasize enough that senator reid has been working with many groups.
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i know, i have my own views that i hold tight. i find ways to find modifications if it does not involve bending or ignoring principle. >> you have been in a number of meetings with senators know. what does that mean? >> every major piece of landmark legislation has had some bipartisan support. social security and clearly civil rights. at the challengee is, if you can't reach what they're after, you cannot make it happen. the voice levels have risen so
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high that the price of doing anything has gotten very high. it is easier to do nothing that is to do something, but it is not always better. -- that is to do something, but it is not always better. -- than it is to do something, but it is not always better. i thought the president was right. i opposed when i thought the president was long -- were wrong -- was wrong. i sought to do that been an icy to do that now. >>-- i seek to do that now. i wish i could remember exactly
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how that occurred. i would like to say that this was an evolving process where, if this proposal did not work, then there were efforts to see how you would modify it to try to find another way of getting the same result. there is usually more than one way to get to something. the problem is, you had those that were opposed to either one or both. on abortion, that is what i'm talking about. if it is a matter of choice, of having options, having won policy that does and potentially one that does not, people can make up their own minds. if you already have states that have spoken about it by saying
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no, then you do not want to disturb their local public policies. i am still jeffersonian when it comes to@@@@@ @ @ >> i don't think that's the way to do it. i couldn't have moved in that direction. one of the major concerns people had during the town hall meetings was that thing. they didn't want washington telling them what to do from washington i heard them loudly and clearly
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>> it's up to the best deal. we trust them to negotiate our plan. that's why they have been put in chargeñi of that. there won't beñiçó any effort t troy to shade this we cannot try to shave this -- shade this.ry to shave this -- opm has administrative interest here. >> [inaudible] >> then i will be watching for santa claus to come down by jimmy back here. i hope to be home as soon as i can possibly be home. thank you, everybody. thank you.
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i think that what happened was that my chief of staff and by had this idea that people could opt in or people could opt out, let's offer a choice between this plan and that plan. they do not have to explain anything. we already agreed on how to account for the money. finding the mechanism-the coverage -- mechanism -- the coverage, was a way to do that. >> did you say you have to sleep on it? >> we said that we had to see the language. we shook hands on concepts.
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>> after the announcement by senator nelson, other senator spokes. speaking with hairry reerd for about 20 minutes. >> at day is it? >[laughter]s it? >> every part of this process, from passing to very carefully crafted bills into one comprehensive bill, to reaching a final consensus, has been an enormous undertaking.
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senators baucus and dodd, i just want to say a short word about senator harkin. most of the work done was done in the committees. the committee met four weeks. you all saw that. the finance committee met for months. you all saw that. senator kennedy died and we had a new chairman of the health committee. we have very large egos. senator harkin, who worked on that committee his entire career in the senate, became chairman as we know. he has been so helpful to us, never wanted in the limelight for in the spotlight and stayed out of the way because he knew
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the work had been done. tom harkin, thank you very much. from the very beginning, we knew we had to save lives, save money and save medicare. we did that. we knew we had to stabilize insurance for everyone who hasn't, helped secure for millions who didn't -- and help secure its 4,000,002 didn't. -- and helped secure it for millions of americans who didn't. some of the new elements are new programs to further rein in health-care costs. make care more affordable by
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expanding small business tax credits. we did a lot in the last few weeks in that regard. we kept in mind, as we were doing this legislation, where we could, what the market control what takes place. we also have all lot of controls to make sure that the insurance industry doesn't go wild like they have with costs to people who have insurance policies. all of these things will help lower the costs. some who are progressives, they feel that this bill does not go far enough. there are others that say, "why didn't we get a public auction?" -- public option?"
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this will do so many good things for so many people and we explained that in some detail but just a few minutes ago. something this bill goes too far and they want it stopped. to them, i say that you are being -- you have a lack of understanding what the problems in america are today. spend a couple of days reading our mail. i've got a letter last week where a man said he did not know whether to parade to die or parade touse they alive for his boy who has diabetes and has addison's disease. i say to those people who want
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this thing stopped, they need to read our mail. the broken system cannot continue and it will not continue. when president obama signs this bill into law, insurance -- the line > the american people know that inaction is not an option. this bill is about providing quality, affordable care and making hard choices that are necessary to do what is right. one of the centers in the caucus said that he wanted a separate chart all the tax incentives and tax credits in this bill. we will do that. it is almost $500 billion worth. throughout the many twists and
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turns in this process, many have tried to knock us off course, but we stayed true to these principles. at 1:00 p.m. today, you have a detailed briefing by our staffs, so said a lot of your questions for that. senators bob this, dodd and harkin -- bacchu >> our bill is fully paid for. it will reduce the national debt. it will protect consumers from
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harmful insurance company practices. it will provide billions in tax cuts to help working families and small businesses afford quality health insurance. it is the largest tax cut since the year 2001. it will extend insurance coverage to more than 30 million americans. no small item. it will drive down premium costs for all of us. an amendment produced today makes this good bill even better. it will provide even more consumer protections against harmful insurance industry practices. it will hold companies accountable for excessive increases in premium rates. it will impose tighter restrictions on annual benefits
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and ensure that companies cannot discriminate against children. that does into effect right away. it will provide tax credits to small businesses right away. that is a big improvement. it will provide more health insurance choices for a nubile by state option double offer the same health insurance that congress has today and insure even more access to quality health care for america's children and seniors. we look forward to a healthy discussion about this amendment. >> let me begin by thanking our leader, harry reid. a lot of people have been involved in this issue for a long time, but you have to have a team captain that brings
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everybody together. we are blessed to have harry reid with us. this is the most difficult task. -- a most difficult task. this product will move from the senate and to the conference with the house of representatives. today, we stand ready to pass a bill into law but finally makes access to quality health care a right for every american, not a privilege for a fortunate few in our country. this year, many years ago, franklin delano roosevelt spoke of four religions -- for freedoms. one of the great fears that americans live with is that they would be hit with an illness for
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which they would not receive treatment because they could not afford it. this bill does not guarantee that you'll never get sick. it does not guarantee that you will not die. all the guarantees is that you are a citizen and you are struck with illness, you will never have that fear that you'll end up losing your home, your job, your retirement, your life savings, because you have been afflicted by an illness. we are dealing with a freedom that all americans have, that one day they will suffer the indignity to not be able to afford health care. the bill frees americans from the fear that if they get sick, they will not be able to afford the treatment that they need. it frees americans from the fear that one accident could cost
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them everything. if a nation founded on freedom -- in a nation founded on freedom, this bill is critically important. our path has been eliminated by a torch lit a long time ago and sustained for decades by good men and women who believed in fdr's >> the man who carried this torch is with us only today in spirit. he only expect that had we could cure all society's ills. that's why we worked together to make our country a little better and freer from those better and freer from those fe
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